MAS bans four individuals over scheme to manipulate Koyo shares

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday (March 3) issued prohibition orders ranging from four to 10 years against three former remisiers and one former insurance agent.

The four individuals were among eight charged with offences related to a scheme to commit false trading in shares of Catalist-listed Koyo International. They were convicted and given jail terms of between three months and 20 months 18 weeks, MAS said in a press statement.

The longest ban duration of 10 years went to Lau Wan Heng, a former remisier with CGS-CIMB Securities. Lau was part of an alleged multi-member scheme that was said to have artificially pushed up the share price of Koyo, a provider of integrated mechanical and electrical engineering services.

Alleged mastermind Lin Eng Jue is facing a total of 50 charges, comprising one count of false trading and 49 counts of unauthorised trading. He was introduced to Lau by Koyo’s chief executive in January 2015, where he then asked for Lau’s assistance in the scheme. Court proceedings against Lin are ongoing.

Lau, then a remisier of CIMB, assisted Lin to create a false appearance of active trading in Koyo shares by carrying out trades in the shares in her clients’ accounts on Lin’s instructions between February 2015 and January 2016. She was sentenced to 20 months and 18 weeks’ jail on Oct 15, 2020.

MAS has slapped former Prudential Assurance Company insurance agent Yeo An Lun with a six-year prohibition order. Between August 2014 and January 2016, Yeo assisted Lin by handing over his trading account to the latter for trading in Koyo’s shares. Yeo was sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment on June 18, 2020.

Goh Qi Rui Rayson, a former remisier of OCBC Securities, was issued a five-year prohibition order for carrying out trades in his clients’ trading accounts on Lin’s instructions between March 2015 and January 2016. He was sentenced to four months’ jail on Feb 19, 2020.

The four-year prohibition order went to Teo Boon Cheang, a former remisier of KGI Securities. Between September 2015 and January 2016, Teo placed orders in his KGI trading account on Lin’s instructions. He was sentenced to three months’ in jail on Feb 19, 2020.

The prohibition orders took effect on March 1, MAS said.

Ms Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director of policy, payments and financial crime at MAS, said the authority expects representatives of financial institutions to act with honesty and integrity.

“By being involved in the false trading scheme, the former financial representatives abused the trust of their customers or employers for personal gain. Their actions also resulted in the distortion of the market.”

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